Skip to comments.Democratic Losses Hit State Farm Teams Hard
Posted on 11/10/2010 9:42:23 AM PST by randita
Back to Article Democratic Losses Hit State Farm Teams Hard
By Steve Peoples
Roll Call Staff
Nov. 9, 2010, 11:30 p.m.
While the GOP celebrates historic gains in the House, Republicans in state capitals across the country are cheering massive pickups that wiped out key Democratic bench players a shift that they say may shape elections for years to come.
From Minnesota to Montana, Democrats lost state Speakers, Senate Majority Leaders, lieutenant governors and other up-and-comers whose political futures are now uncertain at best.
Nowhere is the shift more apparent than in New Hampshire, where the GOP won all three federal races and picked up a record 124 seats in the 400-member state House of Representatives.
We didnt just beat them. We cleaned out their entire bench. Everyone they talked about running for Congress, governor, down the line. Theyre all gone, said Ryan Williams, spokesman for the New Hampshire Republican Party. They were building a good farm team. But the farm team is not around anymore.
The high-profile losses include Maggie Hassan, the state Senate Majority Leader rumored to have greater ambitions. Another is Deb Pignatelli, a member of the governors executive council, also thought to have interest in running for Congress.
Granite State Democrats acknowledge the painful losses but insist their bench remains strong.
Were feeling very confident moving forward, New Hampshire Democratic Party spokesman Harrell Kirstein said. In a state thats as fiercely independent as New Hampshire, politics are very cyclical. The pendulum swung one way and will swing back the other way.
He added that President Barack Obama personally phoned unsuccessful 2nd district Congressional candidate Ann McLane Kuster (D) the day after the election to encourage her to challenge Rep.-elect Charlie Bass (R) in 2012. Annie Kuster is on track to beat Congressman Bass in two years, Kirstein said.
The Granite State is just one example, however, in a landslide election that saw the GOP pick up at least 675 seats in state legislatures across the nation, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures. Republicans flipped 19 chambers, including the House and Senate in six states: Alabama, Maine, Minnesota, New Hampshire, North Carolina and Wisconsin.
Theyre going to have to do some serious rebuilding, said Mark Jefferson, executive director of the Wisconsin Republican Party. Some of their best talent, or people considered to be their best talent, have really taken it on the chin.
Wisconsin Democrats lost Assembly Speaker Mike Sheridan, Senate Majority Leader Russ Decker, a rising star in lieutenant governor candidate Tom Nelson and state Sen. Pat Kreitlow, a former television personality thought to have statewide appeal.
Jefferson also said that Democratic Rep. Ron Kind may have narrowly survived his re-election bid in the 3rd district, but negative press that surfaced in the campaigns final weeks could hurt his prospects for running for statewide office in the future. Kind is viewed as having Senate aspirations whenever Sen. Herb Kohl (D), who is up for re-election in 2012, decides to retire.
He came out of that race seriously wounded, Jefferson said of Kind. Like their colleagues in other states, Wisconsin Democrats admit to having a disappointing cycle but downplay the lasting effects of the 2010 drubbing.
Let them do their victory lap, but itll be one lap exactly. ... We have a pretty deep bench here, said Graeme Zielinski, communications director for the Wisconsin Democratic Party. They will have to own their record at some point soon. A week in power, they have been talking about gays, guns, banning fake weed. They havent been talking about creating jobs. Theyve been talking about their weirdo, right agenda.
In Minnesota, Republicans claimed 41 seats between both chambers, taking control of the state Senate for the first time in history. State GOP Chairman Tony Sutton says the political landscape may have changed forever.
You had a thinning of the herd, he said of Democrats. And it thinned out those that are more middle-of-the-road Democrats. In some respects it will make it hard for them legislatively; the people that are left are very liberal. And theyre left with an urban-centric delegation in a state that is largely suburban and rural.
For example, Senate Majority Whip Kathy Saltzman (D) was defeated in her Washington County district, despite having won the endorsement of the state Chamber of Commerce.
While the GOP cheers the loss of up-and-comers like Saltzman, last weeks shift also elevates the Republican farm teams prospects. Minnesotas Senate will now feature the first female Republican president and Majority Leader combination, according to Sutton, who added that the likely new Republican House Speaker, Kurt Zellers, is a real rising star at just 41 years old.
In New Hampshire, however, there are signs that the defeated Democrats might not be gone for long. In addition to Kusters likely candidacy, Pignatelli offered supporters cause for optimism in a message posted on her website.
Its clear that what happened here in New Hampshire was stunning, even for politics. There will be lots written about it, thats for sure, she wrote. A favor as you travel on the roads in District 5, if you see any of my signs along the roadside, will you please stop and pick them up? Would appreciate it. Maybe youd be willing to save them for a couple of years.
Conservatives everywhere have known for years that the country was headed for an Obama-style dictatorship... we just didn’t know in advance which of the dicks would be the tator.
Now we have Obama and everybody knows.
I guess it took us to get this far for the average voter to realize what conservatives have known for years: the demonrat party is the party of dictatorship.
Instead of the "bought" representative who does the bidding of his masters in Planned Parenthood, we'll have one of the old bulldykes herself out there running as a Democrat ~ in the open.
I'm sure that's in their emergency fallback plan ~ we'll lose an edge in name-calling chits because we'll no longer be able to call them "corrupt", simply "evil" and "barbaric".
The GOP doesn’t have much time to stop this inflationary debt spiral at the federal level. We can’t have a 10-year strategy to balance the budget, it needs to be balanced this coming year.
I agree with you 100%. Im attending a meeting tonite sponsored by the T party groups..in BROWARD county Florida of all places. They are working on a plan to have a mass call/email/fax system during the next couple of yrs. Hits issues on local/state/Fed levels.
America is coming back..it will take a couple of elections but we are on the right track.
I think our NH party chairman John Sununu deserves tremendous credit for 2010's success.
The real advantage to the conservative movement is now in all those states that have Republican guvs and state houses a small army of ready campaign workers exists for candidates in future elections. The “Progressives” will have to build their own next time. Not that Soros doesn’t have the money but even his pit isn’t bottomless and it takes time.
Well, unfortunately two of the things that the Republicans need to do for the good of the country is:
1. End the ethanol scam. To avoid hardships to farmers who have been sucked into this, this should be done over a period of maybe three or four years, cutting back the amount of ethanol in gasoline year by year.
2. Cut the farm subsidies. Not sure if they can be ended entirely, but we have to stop biasing them toward the big factory farm/political contributors, and we have to cut them way back.
The problem with this is that the last time the Republicans tried this, quite a few years ago, they promptly lost all the midwestern farm states to the Democrats.
AT LEAST cut the ethanol scam, starting ASAP. I think even the greenies now understand that that was a stupid idea.
At first glimpse, I thought this was about State Farm Insurance. Boy was I glad I read on.
I’m not from NH, but I’ve found a new tagline-see below.
I love baseball and I love baseball metaphors. This one is perfect.
Lepanto Destruction PING!!
400 for NH? The whole US only has 435.
New Hampshire needs 400 state House reps ????? are you kidding me ????
Remember Lepanto !!!
That’s what I said. The state is no bigger than a borough of Alaska.
That's what I thought. That somehow removing democrats from offices took the insurance industry down the path of doom. LOL
You can't go to the market without running into a couple of your state reps. That's not such a bad thing.
Oh yeah. We pay them $100 a year plus mileage.
ok...$100 a year makes that much more reasonable. Makes being a legislator more like a part time thing.
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